THURROCK T-Birds coach Andy Yarrow has confirmed his side wants to ‘make a statement’ when they go head-to-head with Reading this weekend.

Bath sealed a 24-10 win over the T-Birds last weekend, which resulted in the table-toppers suffering their first defeat of the season.

And Yarrow insisted the T-Birds want to bounce back to winning ways as soon as possible.

Yarrow said: “We are now only three points clear at the top of the table but, as long as we keep winning our games, it’s still in our hands.

“We have some tricky games coming up, but the girls want to make a statement and beat Reading this weekend.

“You could tell after the game against Bath that the girls were hurting and it’s important that we bounce back as soon as possible.

“We will have players back from injury, university and work commitments this weekend, so that will allow us to bolster our squad for the match and hopefully we will be able to get back to winning ways.”

Sarah-Jane Earwicker and Sally Tuson were the T-Birds’ try scorers at Bath, but Yarrow admitted the efforts came too late.

“It was our first defeat of the season and we had a number of players missing.

“As a result, we had players playing out of position and Bath were the deserving winners.

“They took the game to us and although we dominated the last 15 minutes, we were 24-0 down and the game was gone.

“We had no game the week before but I will put the defeat down to the amount of players we had missing instead of the week off.”